I recently attended the Nutritional Therapy Association’s 5th Annual Conference. This year the conference was all about Sweet Addiction: Sugar and America’s Health Crisis. Sugar is indeed driving our American health crisis. Obesity rates are steadily rising, in correlation with America’s carbohydrate intake. The average daily fat and protein percentages have remained steady for decades. Our culture has been swindled into thinking sugar is healthy and that we are only using it in moderation. Did you know that most sugar beets are genetically modified?
One of the presenters was Jill Escher, who wrote Farewell, Club Perma Chubb: A Sugar Addict’s Guide to Weightloss. Her candor on the sugar epidemic was refreshing. She described sugar addiction as the elephant in the room, that everyone; especially the media skirts around. She suggested that if Type II diabetes was renamed “Sugar and Starch Poisoning Syndrome” that it would be less of an epidemic in our country. Jill Escher suggested to ask yourself the right questions when it comes to the food choices you are making and to raise awareness about what is going on with your relationship to certain foods or behaviors. My favorite of these questions was “How many more cupcakes do you need to eat to feel happy”.
One of the most eye opening slides in her presentation was adapted from an American Diabetes Association publication. It was advocating to divide a dinner plate into three sections. One half of the plate is to be filled with non starchy vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower), the second quarter is to be filled with starchy foods (grains, beans, potatoes), and the third quarter to be filled with meat or meat substitute. They also suggested you can add a small roll AND fruit or fruit salad to this meal. For those of you who think this sounds balanced, the suggested starchy foods, fruit and roll can all be classified as carbohydrates. And, if you suffer from Sugar and Starch (aka CARB) poisoning, you’d rightfully be skeptical of such meal planning advice.
The average American consumes about 150 pounds of sugar a year. How much are you eating and how long can you physically continue to do so?